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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Ross' of Mercer County, Pennsylvania

A few years back, my husband decided to research his Ross line on his mother's side.  He'd always told me that they were Scottish and legend had it that they were related to Betsy Ross who is credited with making the first American flag.  Well, the latter has been disproven.  Betsy is not a blood relative and Ross was her last name by marriage.  It was a marriage that did not produce any children and her husband passed away.   She married again but seemed to have retained the Ross name which hit the history books when she crafted the flag.

All family legends aside, the fact that my husband is Scottish is true.  If you look up the Ross name online, you find that Clan Ross is a Highland Scottish clan.  Their castle is called Balnagown Castle located beside the village of Kildary in Easter Ross.  So, is this the line that my husband is related too?

My husband's original research on Ancestry.com took him about four hours to complete.  In no time, he had "borrowed" information from a few other family trees and gotten his tree all the way back to Hugh Rarichies 1st Laird of Ross, his apparent 19th great grandfather.  He lived from 1300-1371 in Cromaty, Ross and Cromaty, Scotland.  It was his son William Ross 2nd Laird of Balngowan who apparently first lived in the castle.  He lived from 1340 to 1398.

When my husband first told me of his findings, I was a bit envious and somewhat doubtful.  In my own research, I have only made it back to 1690 Ireland with the potential of some Flanagan's who probably descend from Kings of Connaught in County Roscommon, Ireland.  I have little proof except family lore which has documentation back to around 1700.  Prior to that, we are stuck in 1707 Termonfeckin, County Louth, Ireland.  By the way, it's a pretty nice place to be stuck.

My doubt in this whole Ross Family tree creation was in that he borrowed the information from others who may or may not have actually proven that family line.  I reviewed his Ross tree that had proof and documentation back to about 1849 Pennsylvania.  That's when I stopped and advised my husband that he'd need to really dig up some proof of his line starting with the Ross' of Sandy Creek, Mercer County, PA.  He set aside his research for a while.

Recently, I forgot and left Ancestry.com open on the computer and went to bed.  My husband seized the opportunity and decided to give it another go to prove his Ross line.  Well, he found a book that has been scanned into Ancestry.com for Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  It proves his Ross line back to his original immigrant ancestor, George Ross, born 1629.  In 1658, George married Constance Little in Connecticut.

So, my husband is currently working to "prove" his 8th great grandfather and his immigration from Great Britain to the new world.  He has some cleaning up to on his Ross Family tree.  I've encouraged him to complete that clean up before he tries to move further back in time.

At this point, it is looking very much like Clan Ross of Balnagown Castle are his ancestors.  I am green with envy as I try to even work back 1 more decade on any of my family lines and feel successful if I can get back to around 1700.

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